Upland wide receiver Kenny Lawler, the last major unsigned recruit from the Inland Empire, made it official Wednesday afternoon, announcing he will sign with California.
Lawler took a last-minute recruiting trip over the weekend to California after visiting Oregon State and Washington State the two prior weekends. Heading into Wednesday’s national signing day, he was reportedly down to California and Oregon State.
The Bears return leading receiver Keenan Allen, but second-leading receiver Marvin Jones has exhausted his eligibility. A spot opened up for Lawler in Cal's recruiting class after Oaks Christian wide receiver Jordan Payton, who had committed to the Golden Bears in early January, switched to Washington last week before ultimately signing with UCLA.
Lawler said on Fox Sports Prime Ticket that a major factor in his decision was California hiring one of his longtime coaches, Charlie Collins, as a staff member.
“I know he’s going to have my back up there,” Lawler said.
The 6-3, 185-pound senior committed to Arizona State shortly after last year’s national signing day, the first school to offer him a scholarship. He stuck by the commitment until late November, shortly after the Wildcats fired coach Dennis Erickson.
Lawler caught 53 passes for 1,267 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, including nine scores in the final four games. His size and reach allows him to out-jump most defensive backs.
Lawler is one of four Upland players to sign a letter of intent Wednesday. Running back Donte Abron, Jr., defensive back Marques Mosley and fullback Christian Powell signed with Colorado earlier in the day.
Here's a full list of signings from Wednesday:
QB: Bryan Harper, Colony (Arizona); Matt Morin, Chaparral (San Diego State); Austin Decoud, Redlands East Valley (Idaho); Carlos Hernandez, Rancho Verde (Stony Brook); K.C Clark, San Jacinto (Colorado State-Pueblo).
RB: Donta Abron, Jr., Upland (Colorado); Davien Payne, Citrus Hill (Colorado); Jamaal Williams, Summit (BYU).
FB: Christian Powell, Upland (Colorado).
WR: Kenny Lawler, Upland (California); Aaron Peck, J.W. North (Fresno State); Cameren Hemmings, Norco (Eastern Washington).
TE: Brandon Mosley, Summit (Colorado State-Pueblo).
OL: Lio Lafaele, Corona Centennial (Utah); Corey Whitaker, Vista Murrieta (Nebraska); Aisea Hansen, Kaiser (Nevada); OL: Isaiah Folasa, Corona Santiago (New Mexico State); Kyle Hart, Ridgecrest Burroughs (San Jose State); Edmund Faimalo, Redlands East Valley (Sacramento State); Sapule Ta’Amilo, Vista Murrieta (Sacramento State); Noah Johnson, Murrieta Valley (Sacramento State); Kevin Gavigan, Redlands (UC Davis); Dylan LaFrenz, Los Osos (Northern Arizona); Zach Beard, Los Osos (Nebraska Kearney); Kenyatta Johnson, Upland (Texas Southern); Tony White, Roosevelt (Western New Mexico).
DL: Jeremy Castro, Vista Murrieta (UCLA); Milo Jordan, Corona Centennial (Arizona State); Teddy Queen, Chaparral (San Diego State); Samson Kafovalu, Arlington (Colorado).
LB: Scott Starr, Norco (USC); C.J. Dozier, Chaparral (Arizona); Reshawn Hooker, A.B. Miller (Utah); Nolan Peralta, Elsinore (Colorado State); Metuisela Unga. Rancho Cucamonga (Fresno State); Robert Wagner, Colony (New Mexico State); Darnell Murray, Citrus Hill (UTEP); Ahkeel Chambers, Corona Centennial (New Mexico Highlands); Eddie Martinez, Colony, (Western New Mexico).
DB: Donte Deayon, Summit (Boise State); Damontae Kazee, Cajon, (San Diego State), Corbin McCarthy, Norco (Duke); Marques Mosley, Upland (Colorado); Jamal Ellis, Redlands East Valley (Fresno State); Ezekiel Herndon, Bloomington (South Dakota State); Nico Caramella, Paloma Valley (Minnesota State-Moorhead); Ricardo Vega, Citrus Hill (Western New Mexico).